Ernest & Celestine

(France, 2012, 79 mins, DCP)
French
CAST Anne-Marie Loop, Dominique Maurin, Lambert Wilson
Classification: G
Suitable for all ages. Youth discount applies - no membership needed for youth (18 and under).

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Ernest, a busking bear, and Célestine, a boho mouse, forge an interspecies friendship and instantly become a cause célèbre in this thoroughly entertaining and slightly demented adaptation of Gabrielle Vincent’s French children’s books. Living in a subterranean labyrinth with her fellow rodents, artsy Célestine (voiced by Pauline Brunner) is pushed into the stodgy family—well, breed actually—business of dentistry. When making a supply run to the surface one day, she discovers the more liberal lifestyle enjoyed by musician-poet Ernest (voiced by Lambert Wilson). After (platonically) shacking up, the kindred spirits are hauled in front of a kangaroo court to defend their friendship.

Teaming up with co-director Benjamin Renner, A Town Called Panic’s Vincent Patar and Stéphane Aubier curb their anarchic tendencies in favour of a more restrained brand of lunacy. And while the film’s visuals are constantly inventive—the intricate dentistry practiced by the mice is particularly inspired—its values are timeless, making this an earnest, big-hearted tale that will resonate with viewers of all ages.

"A delightfully old-fashioned kid’s flick with a meaningful message… The screenplay by bestselling French novelist Daniel Pennac keeps things on a believable plain (for a fairy tale), and it’s easy enough to invest in the plights of the duo… Ernest et Célestine gradually becomes a cautionary fable where friendship tries to stand the test of bigotry and intolerance…" Jordan Mintzer, Hollywood Reporter

"A delightful melding of visual style and narrative pirouettes, Ernest And Célestine is a just-about-perfect hand drawn animated feature. The unlikely but eventually rock solid alliance between gruff bear Ernest and artistically inclined orphan mouse Célestine is loaded with charm and adventure." Lisa Nesselson, Screen Daily

In French with English subtitiles